Get kids to drink water (Photo: Maxpixel)

Get Kids To Drink by Transforming Alcoholic Drinking Games into Kid-Friendly Ones

This post is a bit off the main track of what I usually do, but it's very critical to the field I work in: outdoor education. I teach students of all ages, in all weather, and I find that one of the things that children (and adults) forget to do is drink water. Never mind the fact that it's a struggle just to get visitors just to bring water (4 oz bottles don't count), drinking water is even tougher when there are exciting things to do and see outside with our guides. However, it's critical to keep everyone hydrated. If you want to get kids to drink water it can be challenging to keep their attention. To this end I have put together a list of fun games that you can play with large or small groups of people to get them to drink water. Most of these have been converted from traditional alcoholic drinking games to kids-friendly versions.

Get kids to drink water (Photo: Max Pixel)

Take a Sip

You can sit or stand in a circle, and one leader says, "Take a sip if _________" If the person has the item, action, or does a specific activity then they must drink a sip of water.


  • Take a sip if you are wearing blue
  • Take a sip if you if you have a pet at home

Sip-Sip-Sip-CHUG (like Duck-Duck Goose)

Everyone sits in a circle with their filled water bottles. You are "it" first and go around the circle holding your hand over kid's heads and say, "Sip" (move to next kids) "Sip" (move to next) "Sip" (move to next) "Chug." If a child gets "sip" they sip a drink. If they get "Chug" they have to chug three big gulps and then they are "it."

Duck-Duck-Goose (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Simon Says

This is played like the traditional Simon Says but with water bottles. You can make it as interactive or as calm as you want. Throwing in gross motor skills is a good way to get energy out of kids.


  • Simon says touch your toes
  • Simon says take a drink
  • Jump up and down
  • Simon says jump up and down
  • Simon says drink for a count of 3 Mississippi

Never Have I Ever

You sit or stand in a circle and the leader says, "Never have I ever _________________" You have to drink if you have never done the thing listed. 


  • Never have I ever held a mud crab
  • Never have I ever gone canoeing

Would You Rather

A leader says, "Would you rather do X or Y." Thumbs up for X and thumbs down for Y. The people that vote for the least popular thing have to drink. 


  • Would you rather swim with piranhas or sharks?
  • Would you rather have legs as long as your fingers or fingers as long as your legs?

Most Likely

You all sit in a circle and the leader says, "Who is most likely to__________" (examples might be, "climb a mountain," "pick their nose," "eat anchovies." On the count of 3 everyone points to the person they think is most likely to do that "thing." How ever many people you have pointing at you, you take that many drinks of water.

Every Time

Listen to Roxanne by the police, every time you hear Roxanne take a sip.

Fuzzy Duck

  1. Sit in a circle, say fuzzy duck to the person to your left
  2. Continue until someone says does he?
  3. Switch direction and say ducky fuzz to the person to your right

*Drink if you mess up! (Variation: everyone drink if someone messes up.)

Country and Capital (for older students)

Name a country, capital or famous person. The person to your left responds with a country, capital or famous person whose name BEGINS with the letter yours ENDED with.

Example: Cuba -> Angola-> Azerbaijan -> Netherlands etc.

*Drink if you repeat a name, or can’t think of a word.

T-Rex arms (Photo: Flicker Sharing, Fluttergirl)

T-Rex Arms

Whenever you take a drink use t-rex arms. If you forget, drink again.

Let’s Go Camping

  1. Some chooses a place to go camping (e.g. school, museum, etc.) and keeps their choice a secret.
  2. Players suggest items to bring (e.g. tent, camera etc)
  3. Answers that fit the location are correct (e.g. camera for a museum), items that do not fit the location (e.g. firewood for a school) are considered wrong.
  4. If a participant gets an item wrong, they must drink.

Sip-Chug Division (best for children who know division)

This is a number game. Participants sit in a circle and you count the numbers 1 to (you decide, 30 is usually good). For every number that is divisible by 3 you take a sip of water. For every number that is divisible by 5 you take 3 sips of water. You can change the numbers to divide by.


1..2...sip...4...3 sips...2 sips...7...8...2 sips...3 sips.......

It's hard to get kids to drink water (and adults), but you can do it with a little creativity and fun. There are many more "drinking games" out there. Feel free to share if you have others. I'll add them: Happy drinking!